K2 Wind ordered to comply with Ontario noise regulations

Carla and Mike Stachura: letter from MECP announced Director’s Order against K2 [Photo: Global News]
May 25, 2019

One of Ontario’s largest wind power projects, K2 Wind, a 140-turbine project in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh in Huron County, has been found out of compliance with conditions of its Renewable Energy Approval, and Ontario noise regulations.

The operator for the project has been issued an Order by the Director of the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to act immediately to develop and implement a Noise Abatement Plan and further, to conduct an acoustic audit to confirm compliance.

The K2 Wind power project began operation in 2015; documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request by Wind Concerns Ontario show that the Ontario Liberal government had received more than 400 complaints about wind turbine noise and other adverse effects by the end of 2016. [1]

Residents have continued to complain about the project and earlier this year, testing took place at several homes where families have persisted in filing reports of excessive noise and vibration/sensation.

The Provincial Officer’s Order instructs K2 Wind Ontario Inc. to undertake various actions related to the project. By June 14, they are to have developed and implemented interim abatement measures to bring the project into compliance with the Noise Performance Limits of the project. A range of options were provided for these changes including:

  1. Limiting the number of hours during a twenty-four (24) hour period during which the Equipment operates;
  2. De-rating the wind turbines to reduce the Sound Levels emitted from the Equipment; or
  3. Curtailing the operation of the Equipment under specific conditions, such as wind speed and direction[2].

Details of the changes made are to be provided to the Ministry by June17.

In addition, the project operator is to engage an Acoustical Consultant who is to prepare and submit a Noise Abatement Action Plan (NAAP) by July 19. This NAAP is to include:

  1. Mitigation measures to ensure that the Facility is operating in compliance with the Noise Performance Limits;
  2. Detailed timelines for the implementation of the NAAP: and
  3. The submission and the timeline for completion of a new I-Audit, including Tonal Assessments, to verify that implementation of the NAAP have achieved compliance with the Noise Performance Limits

The Order is unusual in the history of the Ontario government managing complaints about wind turbine noise and other emissions, says Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson. “Up to now, resident complaints have been largely ignored by the Ministry. The documents we received showed the response rate had actually declined, and the Ministry did not seem prepared to take any action at all against the wind power operators, who are classified as the ‘Client’ in Ministry documents.

“This is a departure in tone and intent,” Wilson says.

In closing arguments at the appeal of the Nation Rise wind power project last August, Ministry lawyer Paul McCulloch claimed that evidence presented by Wilson based on the government records of noise complaints was not to be taken seriously by the Environmental Review Tribunal because the complaints (though recorded by government Environmental Officers who are also classed as Public Officers under the Criminal Code of Canada) should have been supported by medical opinion.

In a letter to Carla Stachura, a homeowner living among K2 Wind turbine who has been stalwart on filing reports of wind turbine noise, Environmental Officer Natasha Munn stated: “The ministry has directed Pattern Energy to review the information from your complaints as part of the overall assessment. The information submitted will be assessed using the 2017 Compliance Protocol for Wind Turbine Noise.”

“That is really important,” says Jane Wilson. “Resident reports of excessive noise are to be taken seriously and evaluated, as stipulated in the Renewable Energy Approvals.”

Noise abatement has been required before, notably in the case of the Unifor turbine in Port Elgin, a problematic turbine that has been de-rated twice, and now operates at 300 kW — while the complaints keep being filed with residents, regardless of abatement.

A noise abatement plan was suggested, but not ordered, for multiple turbines in the Melancthon project but there is no evidence in government records that this ever happened, and complaints continue to be filed.

It is unclear what effect if any this Order could have on the Nation Rise project which is now in Direct Appeal to the MInister; while K2 Wind’s new audits will be assessed against the newer 2017 noise limits while Nation Rise (also owned in part by Axium Infrastructure) was allowed to submit its renewable energy application using the old limits, despite not having specified the turbine models to be used.

Read a copy of the Director’s Order here: Order NUMBER 8710-BBPLMC (3)

 

[1] Wind Concerns Ontario has also requested records from 2017 and 2018, neither of which have been fulfilled.

[2] Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Provincial Officer’s Order, 8710-BBPJA8, dated May 23, 2019.

See also a recent article on how the failure to act on citizen complaints about wind turbine noise is a serious failure in public health surveillance: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331174238_Wind_Turbine_IncidentComplaint_Reports_in_Ontario_Canada_A_Review-Why_Are_They_Important

Comments

Mary Kovacs
Reply

I am holding my breath, abatement may or may not be good. Evidence so far has not been positive.All I can say that if this is the beginning and peoples’ complaints start to be believed than that would be a good thing, the best would be action to turn them OFF.

Ed Engel
Reply

Thank you for your summary. It gives us hope and a reason to carry on with our complaints and other efforts.

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

If we don’t keep calling and emailing the Ministry, they can assume nothing is going wrong. Our question is, if it takes so long to get the records together to fulfill an FOI request, does this mean these noise complaints are not being tracked at all by environment ministry staff, and senior officials are unaware of them?

Stan Thayer
Reply

Gaday eh!
Not all noise eminates from the Nacelle. The most dominant disruptive feature I have witnessed is the pronounced, “WHOMP”, just after the blade passes the tower. It seems similar to a slightly opened rear window in an airtight car just not as fast. In passenger vehicles it is known as the helicopter effect. Lowering the power rating does not change the blade speed. The intensity from the mechanical and electrical forces would, I presume, change very little.
I have not read any varifiable studies done to address this issue so I can only comment on what I have experienced.
The Suzuki Foundation might have some or could do some but they get their money from the CBC and they get their money from promoting the Liberal government.
No help there!
All very interesting.
One time I suggested putting the blades on backwards and facing the Nacelle into the wind.
I was serious but everyone else in the lunch trailer laughed, hey, it might work.
One final jaw dropping thought.
The Industrial Wind Turbines will be needed more than ever when the junk at the bottom of the rivers goes into the hydro generating stations!
Keep smiling!
Stan the power man

Chris Edwards
Reply

Just turn the useless follies off! When you account for the mandatory back up they need their usefull output is about zero! And no they won’t take over for hydro they can barely sustaine themselves.
I doubt this result would happen under teh liberal crooks.

David Libby
Reply

Axium Infrastructure, including minority stakeholder The Alberta Teachers Retirement Fund (ATRF), purchased the K2 Wind facility in January of 2019.

Name the ones who own it.

Why only one turbine operation and not all of them?

Sommer
Reply

Controlling the K2 Wind turbines to reduce the audible noise will not stop the harm from LFN and infrasound radiation.
Minister Christine Elliot, Minister Rickford and Minister Philips have been notified of cardiac instability episodes, which have been investigated by medical doctors, to rule out typical causative factors. Since early October of 2018, these Ministers have all refused to respond to the request for a face- to- face meeting with trusted advocates to look at the relevant medical records and be educated about the harm to both the neurological system and to the vestibular system. Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira, an expert on LFN and infrasound, has stated publicly that knowing what she now knows about this harm (which is both cumulative and “irreversible”), she would not live within 20 km from a wind turbine. If this is the case, why would we want anyone to be forced to live much closer than that? In some cases, peoples’ homes are surrounded by turbines even closer than a one km. Why?

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

The MECP has acknowledge the presence of LFN and has also required the operator to respond to citizen complaints as part of their required action

Stan Thayer
Reply

Me thinks yuz is about to get BORKED!
The windfarm mentioned has produced very little power to the grid during the last days. Turning it/them, “off”, would not change much. Complaints at this time should be wisely considered!
IWT’S don’t move only when the wind blows.
Watch more than one turbine to determine if they are all synced or idling to alleviate dead spots. Notice the small difference.
Reorganizing allows a chance to roll over the contracts but the initial monthly pay outs still apply.
Remember, windmills are like the Liberal Carbon Tax, you get paid back more than you pay in.
It’s a Liberal thing!

Barbara
Reply

And,

US SEC/Fast Search PEGI
Form 8K filed 2019-01-09

SEC 8K Exhibit 99.1/press release – K2C.html

Stan Thayer
Reply

Sheesh, what’s going on?
For the last few days the entire output of all the wind turbines in Ontario has been in the 300 MW range for many hours each day. That’s less than 5% of the projected installed capacity.
Is it the control operators?
Has the wind stopped blowing all over Ontario?
We’re the wind predictions of the so called experts skewed ?
Who knows?
I think we should put a statue of David Suzuki at Exhibition Place with a propeller on his hat!
Gotta go pull wires now!
Stan the power man

Stan Thayer
Reply

Follow-up to this morning.
Today’s Ontario wind farms output averaged less than 100MW.
That’s .8% of demand from a projected capacity of 6,600MW ,,,DECIMAL EIGHT PERCENT.
Something is happening!

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